Slow Cooker Brown Butter Marinara Sauce


  • 2 (28 ounces each) cans whole, peeled, san marzano tomatoes
  • 34 cup oil-packed sundered tomatoes, oil drained
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 12 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste
  • 14 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 6-10 leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced


  1. Add tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, parsley, oregano, thyme, red pepper, salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon butter to slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 7 to 8 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, stirring once or twice if possible.  
  2. After 8 hours use back of spoon or a potato masher to break down tomatoes, or blend with immersion blender.  Leave sauce in slow cooker insert and remove lid.  
  3. Melt remaining butter in small saucepan over medium heat until just browned.  Transfer butter and any browned bits from pan into slow cooker.  Stir in parmesan cheese and basil, then season with extra salt and pepper to taste.  


This recipe is from Half Baked Harvest.  While I did make it quite a while ago, I do remember that it was delicious.  I always loved pasta with butter as a kid and the buttery element in this sauce is fantastic.  It would also make a great topping for any sort of appropriate meat, like a chicken breast or some meatballs.  Lots of delicious flavors going on here and cooking it in the slow cooker really helps when you’re using a bunch of dried herbs.